“May History Forgive England for Her Callous Disregard of a Brave and Selfless Physician.”
by Charles Hopewell (EPI), April 1, 2013
Andrew Wakefield, scapegoated former British physician now living in Austin, Texas, was knighted last night by Queen Elizabeth at a gala event celebrating his 56th birthday. The festivities were held at Four Seasons Austin, a 5-star hotel with views of Lady Bird Lake.
The joyous occasion, culmination of over a year of planning, was especially remarkable in the Queen’s journey being kept secret. Wakefield believed he was simply going on a weekend getaway with his wife Carmel.
More than three hundred people witnessed the unforgettable ceremony, the first time a British monarch has conferred knighthood outside of England. In her remarks preceding the ritual, Queen Elizabeth declared, “On behalf of all that is good and true in England, we profoundly regret that Andrew Wakefield has been treated so shabbily, and hope by this small gesture to begin making amends to him and his family. May history forgive England for her callous disregard of a brave and selfless physician.”
As Wakefield knelt before the Queen on a knighting-stool, she lay the blade of a sword on his right and then left shoulder. After he had been thus dubbed, Wakefield stood up, and The Queen invested him with the insignia of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
It has been over a decade since Wakefield was stripped of his medical license, his reputation, his career, and his country through a complex and well-orchestrated character assassination perpetrated by a collusion of vested interests in medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, the British public health department, and the media after he voiced urgent concern about vaccine safety, especially the MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine.
Ever since, Wakefield’s ruin has been held up like a head on a spike, giving the grim message to all who question vaccines: “Beware! This could happen to you as well, if you proceed further!”
Even after relocating to Texas, Wakefield has continued to research vaccines, champion vaccine-injured children, and advocate tirelessly for vaccine safety, leading to his being nicknamed “the Ralph Nader of vaccines.” He said in a 2011 press conference, “I will not be deterred – this issue is far too important.”
Following the knighting ceremony, the company toasted Wakefield’s long life and good health, then everyone sat down to a ten-course banquet, with much merry-making by all. Among the guests were many autistic children and their parents, glad to express their gratitude for Wakefield’s immense support in the children’s healing.
Perhaps the most moving in an evening full of emotional moments was the interchange between Wakefield and Brian Deer. (Deer is the journalist whose slander was instrumental in bringing Wakefield down.) Deer fell weeping at Wakefield’s feet and begged for forgiveness, crying, “I have no idea what possessed me!” Sir Wakefield assented, “It has been rather a bother; but what really matters now is working hard to educate the public about vaccine risks.”
Deer vows to devote himself full time to this campaign. (Read more…)
–from Envision Press International